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GB_Amateur

Identification Help Needed

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small_hammer-head.thumb.JPG.48ec4e2f82f23c4bfa5ef7d8c0c04022.JPG

Here's what I know:

1) Specific Gravity is between 6.1 and 6.3.  (Weight is 55 g or a bit under 2 oz.)

2) It's not attracted to a magnet.  The brown color is dirt, not rust.

3) The hole indicates it is likely some kind of hammer head, but for what?

4) It was found in my yard, just a couple inches from the street curb, and about 2 inches deep.  My house is 50 years old, one of the first in its subdivision, and previously the land was pasture with no nearby buildings shown via historicaerials.com.  (There likely were fences in the vicinity.)

5) From its reaction to a file, it is a relatively soft, white metal.

6) Based upon the metal flow at both ends it was (ab)used in a way not intended.

7) There is a mold line along the center of the two side faces, so it's cast.

8)) I can't find any manufacturer's marks.

Your help in determining its intended use would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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That looks like a 8th grade/high school hammer project,  I remember our 8th grade wood shop class making that type of hammer. We made all sorts of neat stuff, hammers, metal funnels, wooden towel hanger using a marble. That definitely looks like one of our wood shop hammer projects,  this was back in 1973-74.

Paul

 

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 Its a cabinet makers hammer head. A cabinet makers hammer was used for small nails and tacks. The narrow side of the head was used for the small nails without smashing your fingers. Kinda funny how the old timers were smart and simplistic. The material is a little strange, but they were made in steel, brass and sometimes brass and copper alloys. I've also have come across some of these with all copper construction. I posted some photo's of the ones I still use. the one that's not shaped like yours is a modern stanley tool co. The others are from the early 20th century. Very neat find!!! Make a new handle for it and put it back into use. Almost 1/4 of my tools predate the 20th century.

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7 hours ago, dogodog said:

 Its a cabinet makers hammer head.

You nailed it as I was ready to state the same thing. They also use the same hammer in some leather making methods for softening the leather. The wedge end was to help cut leather strips to length without using cutters.

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15 hours ago, Paul (CA) said:

That looks like a 8th grade/high school hammer project,  I remember our 8th grade wood shop class making that type of hammer.

Paul, yeh, I can see that would be a good shop class project.  (Found a pic online of one which was made in shop class, but it was steel and last part of the project was to harden it.)  Mine is cast so maybe not hand made -- were yours done on a milling machine?

14 hours ago, dogodog said:

 Its a cabinet makers hammer head. A cabinet makers hammer was used for small nails and tacks. The narrow side of the head was used for the small nails without smashing your fingers. Kinda funny how the old timers were smart and simplistic. The material is a little strange, but they were made in steel, brass and sometimes brass and copper alloys.

Your picture is convincing, DoD.  Right size and everything!  But for nails and tacks, why not steel?

7 hours ago, 2Valen said:

They also use the same hammer in some leather making methods for softening the leather. The wedge end was to help cut leather strips to length without using cutters.

Now the soft metal makes sense, Tim -- hammering on something even softer (leather).  Mine looks like the 'Harbor Freight' cheap-ass version, but at least it didn't rust being in the ground all these years.  Low density (s.g.) probably because it is cast and they chose a metal that easily worked for that fabrication method.

Thanks, all.  I'll try and find a more challenging 'whatsit??' problem next time.  😁

 

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If there was a logo it would be on the side. Not all hammers had marks. Looks like cast iron. Here is an old masons hammer from Stanley mid 1800's. Mark wasn't visible until i did a bit of reverse electrolysis. You can see how shallow and faint the mark is so there might be on.

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19 minutes ago, kac said:

Looks like cast iron.

But it's not magnetic and the density (specific gravity) is too low.

 

19 minutes ago, kac said:

If there was a logo it would be on the side.

Yes, I tried to find one, but either it's worn off, my eyes (with magnifiers) aren't good enough to pick it out, or it just never had one.  I'll look again with stronger magnification.

 

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Either what Paul said, or it's a hammer from a kid's tool kit. Probably made of pot metal.

 

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It might be a non marring hammer, brass or bronze maybe.

Scrape a spot and see what color the base metal is?

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Every tool has its purpose, my guess is its a Chinese repro. That being said it is a cabinet makers hammer. Remember not all nails were steel, and upholsterers used the same kinds of hammers for brass and copper tacks. These hammers were not just used for furniture. They were used for leather work as 2Valen said, but also used for inlay work to help set veneer. You wouldn't use a claw hammer to straighten a fender (Well maybe). These hammers were made to be low weight as not to damage your project. A really big one would be about 8.oz. The one you have looks like it was used for the wrong purpose over the years.

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